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Wind farm divides town; Proposed turbines creates controversy 

Credit:  Shane Symolon, WWLP, www.wwlp.com 24 August 2010 ~~

BRIMFIELD – A proposed wind farm in Eastern Hampden county is already stirring controversy in the town.

First Wind, a company out of Boston wants to build 8 to 10 turbines on top of West Mountain and Steerage rock.

The plan is just in its initial phases.

Chair of Brimfield’s Board of Selectman Thomas Marino says the project could bring in $140 thousand dollars every year for the next 20 years for the town.

However he says there is still a lot to learn about what the project will mean for the area.

“Ultimately this is a decision that the town’s people will make,” said Marino. “There will have to be a change in the zoning bylaws, so the selectman are doing their due diligence to collect information.”

Some residents have already made up their mind.

“A lot of people say, don’t put this in my backyard, well it is in my backyard and I don’t mind the idea,” said Earl Rhoades who is one of the closest to live where the turbines will be set up.

He says people need to think Green.

“It’s a positive direction for our energy problems, if you look what happened in the Gulf and elsewhere with oil, you look what we’re paying for gas and fuel oil, we have to do something,” said Rhoades.

Opposition to the idea of wind power in the town is already gathering.

“No Wind Power” signs are already showing up around town, and a group has formed a web site at www.nobrimfieldwind.org.

Residents are worried to the noise they might make, and the possibility that their property values could drop.

Jim Mitchell, who lives in town, says most people don’t realize how enormous the turbines will be.

“Up on west hill there, the fire tower is 117 feet, the windmills themselves will be 334 feet to the hub and 429 feet to the stop of the blade,” said Mitchell. “People don’t realize its going to dwarf everything in town.”

Marino says the select board will be taking a trip to a similar turbine farm in Maine in September.

The next informational meeting is September 21st, with a public hearing scheduled for September 29th.

Source:  Shane Symolon, WWLP, www.wwlp.com 24 August 2010

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial educational effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

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